290. Telegram From the Mission at the United Nations to the Department of State0

1846. Congo.

We (Cumming) and Dean (UK)1 made joint approach to SYG this morning to convey current information on Stanleyville situation.2
We agreed ahead of time that Dean would make main presentation with Cumming supplementing it and adding U.S. had independently verified UK information. Cumming told SYG he had come to New York to discuss Congo at specific instruction of Secretary. Both Dean and Cumming indicated information was of such nature that we regarded it as fully trustworthy.
SYG’s reaction was responsive and he apparently took information seriously and at full face value. He observed that our information was of such nature that it difficult for him to act directly on it. After earlier U.S. approach last week3 and UK approach on Saturday4 he had sent cables to Leopoldville asking that Stanleyville situation be watched closely. He had had no reply. He would now send another cable and press for early response. He said that anything he cabled as result approaches of this sort by us were captioned for Dayal only.

SYG said he had good representative in Stanleyville now that Duran was there. He felt most promising step he could take immediately would be to add to number of reliable UN people in Stanleyville.

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He implied he would send several more when he got to Leopoldville. When Cumming asked (per Deptel 1200)5 whether he could himself visit Stanleyville during Congo visit, SYG replied he did not think this feasible but he would send McKeown for number of days immediately after his arrival in Congo (about January 5). He thought this might help achieve same result. SYG also said he would not want to stay in Congo for more than 2 days because he did not want to get too much entangled in internal problems.

On possibilities major external assistance to GizengaSYG said it was difficult to see how full-scale operation could come about. UAR supplies to Salumu and Gizenga might develop “minor Spanish war” situation, even possibly leading to split in country, and it would also produce major political nuisance value. (Dean said it could develop into Malayan type problem. SYG immediately agreed this was more apt comparison.) While not minimizing seriousness of “Malayan-type” situation, SYG said it seemed unlikely magnitude problem would become greater (e.g, Korean-type). Full-scale effort to utilize Stanleyville as base for major military operation in Congo would mean USSR would have to do it and would have to have staging area outside Congo, either in Sudan or UAR. UAR was likely to balk at becoming Soviet staging base, and he consequently did not think situation would reach this point.
While not discounting possibility UAR might have plans to use its troops in Congo as channel for supplies to Gizenga forces, SYG felt it would be difficult in practice for them to do anything substantial without UN knowing it. He pointed out that at top levels he always mixed in people from various nationalities so that anyone with “eyes open” could see what others were doing. He also said that his own “re-deployment plans” might upset other ideas (thus confirming earlier indication–USUN 18406—re planned shifts in UAR troops). SYG also said UN regarded Bumba as strategic point and was watching it with this in mind. He said financial support was more difficult to control than military support, “as we know.” He added that he thought enough financial support could easily be made available for Gizenga to obtain support from any forces in Kivu.
SYG also raised possible visit Conciliation Commission to Congo (see USUN 1840). He referred to message he had received from Kasavubu, apparently in reply to message SYG had sent asking for Conciliation Commission to be received by January 3. In his message [Page 642] Kasavubu indicated willingness to receive Commission but with exclusion Ghana, Guinea, Mali, India and Morocco. (SYG’s recollection was that he had not mentioned UAR.) SYG observed that Kasavubu was extremely unwise politically in objecting to India and Morocco. It would be particularly unfortunate for him to irritate Nehru at this point; furthermore, Indian representative on Conciliation Commission Rao (?)7 was not type who would cause trouble. SYG said he “must insist” on getting CC to Congo by January 3. He urged U.S. and UK to speak to Kasavubu about accepting it without delving into composition. (SYG seemed to have in mind that if Kasavubu does not raise issue composition Commission should be satisfactory from Kasavubu point of view with Ghana, Guinea, Mali and UAR not participating, while if he poses issue there will be another difficult political hurdle.)
At conclusion meeting SYG referred to New York Times story8 that Lumumba now eating at officers mess at Thysville. He did not exclude this at all and said he would not be surprised if he heard Lumumba dining with Kasavubu again (to which Dean agreed). SYG said he understood there had been strenuous political debate within garrison at Thysville after Lumumba was brought there, partly as result treatment Lumumba got when arrested. He thought what appeared to be present liberal treatment of Lumumba was concession by Mobutu officers at Thysville to attitude of enlisted men.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/12–2760. Secret; Limited Distribution.
  2. Hugh S. Cumming, Jr., Director of Intelligence and Research, Department of State, and Sir Patrick Dean, a member of the British Delegation to the United Nations.
  3. A December 23 memorandum of conversation by Herter states that in a conversation that day, British Ambassador Sir Harold Caccia had suggested a joint approach to Hammarskjöld to convey information concerning the activities of certain missions in the Congo, especially the UAR mission. (Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Miscellaneous Memoranda of Conversations, 1960)
  4. Reference is apparently to a conversation on December 22, reported in telegram 1840 from USUN, December 23, in which Wadsworth told Hammarskjöld of U.S. concern with the situation in Stanleyville. (Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/12–2360)
  5. December 24.
  6. Telegram 1200 to USUN, December 22, instructed the Mission to explore the Stanleyville situation with Hammarskjöld, indicating the Department’s concern, and suggesting that U.N. action to freeze the situation by reinforcing U.N. troops and controlling the airport might make it possible to isolate Gizenga. (Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/12–2260)
  7. See footnote 3 above.
  8. As on the source text. Reference is to Rameshwar Rao.
  9. On December 27.